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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Child Welfare - UK

ADOPTION AND CHILDREN ACT 2002

London: TSO, 2002

Act includes steps to:

  • put the needs of the child at the centre of the adoption process;
  • improve post-adoptive support in order to encourage people to adopt looked after children;
  • allow unmarried couples to adopt children jointly;
  • tighten controls on intercountry adoption;
  • provide for access to information held in adoption records.

ADOPTION AND CHILDREN BILL 2002: AMENDING S.17 CHILDREN ACT 1989

C Daly and C Hamilton

ChildRight, no. 190, 2002, p.6-8

Clause 114 of the Adoption and Children Bill 2002 is a government amendment to s.17, Children Act 1989. It was introduced to ensure that local authorities have the power to fund accommodation as a service for parents and children together. Unfortunately the amendment also enables councils to accommodate children on their own without taking them into care.

ADOPTION REFORM: MANAGING DIVERSITY AND DELAY

M Bell, K Wilson and M Crawshaw

Adoption and Fostering, vol. 26, no.3, 2002, p.8-18

This article considers two areas of difficulty in the adoption selection and preparation process. It identifies the need for practitioners to be flexible in their approach to shared assessments and for agencies to have formal and informal communication systems in place.

CHILD CARE AND EARLY EDUCATION: GOOD PRACTICE TO SUPPORT YOUNG CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

J Lindon

London: Thomson Learning, 2003

This book has been written as a course companion to major level 3 childcare qualifications. Written from a more practical angle than existing childcare texts, it covers the theory associated with all aspects of childcare and education for the under eights.

CHILDHOOD POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION: FROM A CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE

T Ridge

Bristol: The Policy Press, 2002

This book looks at how childhood poverty has moved from the periphery to the centre of the policy agenda following New Labour's pledge to end it within twenty years. It presents the issues and concerns that low-income children themselves identify as important. It raises critical issues for both policy and practice. It raises specific issues to do with schools which have been key players in the drive towards reducing child poverty through improved standards of literacy.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES IN DORSET: INCORPORATING EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE

D Keddie

MCC: Building Knowledge for Integrated Care, vol. 10, October 2002 p.35-38

Article provides a critical assessment of Dorset Social Services' membership of Research in Practice. It looks at the practical work that has been undertaken in partnership with Research in Practice and considers the effectiveness of that work. It is argued, in conclusion, that, while membership has benefited Dorset in terms of the development of evidence-based practice, proof of the final outcome of improved service for children and families is not easily adduced.

CONNEXIONS: FROM JOINED UP THINKING TO JOINED UP PRACTICE

L Britton

Working Brief, no. 139, 2002, p.13-16

Article explores how Connexions Partnerships are reconciling being both a universal service for all young people and one targetted on the multiply disadvantaged. Focuses particularly on the need for partnership between Connexions and other agencies working with young people.

CONNEXIONS PARTNERSHIPS: THE FIRST YEAR 2001-2002

Ofsted

London: 2002 (HMI; 521)

Reports on the first year of operation of Connexions, the government's integrated support service for young people aged 13-19 in England. The report focuses on four themes: partnerships, the role of the personal adviser, the involvement of young people, and careers education and guidance.

CO-OPERATIVE DIVIDEND UNDER THREAT

T Wylie

Young People Now, no.164, 2002, p.16

The voluntary youth work sector is at the heart of the government's modernisation agenda. However there is a danger that some voluntary organisations are directing their energies not to working in partnership but to securing competitive advantage and to wresting power from the state, especially local authorities.

COORDINATING SERVICES FOR INCLUDED CHILDREN: JOINED UP ACTION

C Roaf

Buckingham: Open University Press, 2002

Looking at the history of inter-agency work, book argues that it has reached a critical point. Inter-agency work is now in the process of moving from the local, small-scale, relatively short lived projects characteristic of the early 1990's to the large-scale, government-supported national initiatives of the new millennium.

COUNCILS SLOW TO APPLY ACT AS CARE LEAVERS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE

D Hayes

Community Care, Oct 17-23 2002, p.18-19

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 requires local authorities to support young people leaving care up to the age of 21. Article reports variable progress among local authorities in implementing these provisions.

DELIVERING FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Inter-Departmental Childcare Review

Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, 2002

Outlines how new funding will:

  • create at least 250,000 new childcare places by 2005/06, on top of the earlier target of new places for 1.6 million children by 2004;
  • establish new children's centres to provide childcare, family support and health services in one place, to benefit up to 650,000 children in disadvantaged areas by 2006;
  • integrate responsibility for childcare, early years education and Sure Start within a new inter-departmental unit so that services are co-ordinated to best meet the needs of children, families and communities.

DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED CHILDREN'S SERVICES IN EXETER: A CASE STUDY

M Hapgood and J Shaw

MCC: Building Knowledge for Integrated Care, vol. 10, October 2002, p.29-34

Article describes the experience of designing and implementing a joint health/social services/ education strategy for children with special needs and their families. While partnership with parents was a guiding principle and beneficial changes in policy and practice were introduced, the article gives practical illustrations of how easily a gap can emerge between rhetoric and reality.

EARLY YEARS: EARLY DAYS

Ofsted

2002 (HMI 642)

Highlights progress by Ofsted in fulfilling its regulatory responsibilities relating to the five types of childcare: full day care, sessional care, out-of-school care, creches and childminders.

FALSE PREMISES

P Ennals

Community Care, Oct 17th-23rd 2002, p.38

Argues against the creation of a national child protection agency. Such a body could discourage partnership working, siphon off staff from hard pressed social services departments, and be overwhelmed by demand.

GENDER AND CHILD PROTECTION

J. Scourfield

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002

This book deals specifically with the gender issues of child protection and social work. It looks at who the clients are; experiences of working with men and women; child protection priorities; and knowledge and values in practice.

MEETING THE NEEDS OF ETHNIC MINORITY CHILDREN - INCLUDING REFUGEE, BLACK AND MIXED PARENTAGE CHILDREN: A HANDBOOK FOR PROFESSIONALS. 2nd ED

K N Dwivedi (ed)

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002

This book offers practical guidance and focuses on some of the most difficult aspects of caring for ethnic minority children. It covers topics such as:

  • culture and personality;
  • mental health needs;
  • family therapy;
  • clinical considerations and ethnic minority cultures;
  • mixed race children and families;
  • adoption of children from minority groups;
  • residential care;
  • practical approaches to work with refugee children;
  • community and youth work with Asian women and girls.

MILBURN'S LOCAL PARTNERSHIP VISION LACKS DETAIL ON JOINT WORKING

D Hayes

Community Care, Oct 31st-Nov 6th 2002, p.18-19

Discusses local authority reaction to government plans for the creation of children's trusts to plan, commission, finance and deliver children's services. Points out that these proposals duplicate integrated services already being developed under Health Act flexibilities.

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR THE PROVISION OF CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY SERVICES

Department of Health

London: 2002

Advocacy safeguards looked after children and young people and protects them from abuse and poor practice. The standards in this document set out the core principles that children and young people can expect to find applied by professionals providing advocacy services. There are ten standards including the role of children in advocacy, the policy context, equal opportunities, confidentiality, publicity, accessibility, independence, complaints procedures and the management and governance of services.

PARENTS 'GET AWAY WITH MURDER'

C Dyer

The Guardian, November 1st 2002, p.9

According to an NSPCC working group report, hundreds of parents who kill their children are exploiting loopholes to get away with murder. The problem is a Court of Appeal ruling in 1987 which holds that where there is no evidence showing which of two parents harmed the child, then neither can be convicted.

PLAY YOUR CONNEXIONS CARD RIGHT

M Rahman

Young People Now, no. 164, 2002, p.21

Describes the role of the new Connexions Card in motivating young people to stay in education. Card holders can collect points as they attend learning sessions at school or college. They can then use these points to claim free goods and win rewards.

PROUD PARENTS

A U Sale

Community Care, Nov 7th-13th 2002, p.30-31

Discusses support needs of parents with learning difficulties. Councils need to intervene early, before any child protection issues arise. Shared care arrangements also help parents who cannot care for their children at home remain in contact.

RIGHTS TO ACCESS

J Kenrick

Young People Now, no. 164, 2002, p.28-29

Young people's access to mainstream legal advice services is very limited. Article proposes that provision for advice about legal rights should be made within the Connexions Service.

THE ROLE OF DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

B J Steyn, J Schneider and P McArdle

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 28, 2002, p.523-528

Telephone interviews were conducted with 32 carers of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) living in North East England. In total, 19 out of the 32 families were receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA). They mainly used it to replace clothes and furniture and to provide diversions for the children concerned. Some families were unaware of their eligibility for DLA, while a few had chosen not to apply. Carers were unanimously positive about the extra income. Concludes that professionals in contact with children with ADHD need to inform families of their entitlement and support them in applications. As diagnosis of ADHD becomes more common, more families are likely to be entitled to claim DLA.

U WHAT? A NEW TRANSLATION SERVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

K Richardson

ChildRight, no. 190, 2002, p.18

U What? is a project which aims to translate government consultation and policy documents, making them more understandable and accessible to young people aged 12-18. It is intended that the project will help children take a more active and informed role in political processes and consultations that directly affect their lives.

UNPOPULAR BUT NECESSARY

E Lovell

Community Care, Oct 17th-23rd 2002, p.40-41

Support services for children who display sexually harmful behaviour are sporadic, and a coherent national strategy is lacking. Over the past 10 years there have also been some moves away from a child welfare approach and towards a criminal justice approach to dealing with these young people.

WATCHFUL EYE

J McCann

Community Care, Oct 24th-30th 2002, p.36

Under the National Minimum Standards for Fostering implemented in April 2002, carers are now subject to formal supervision by social workers. Supervision offers opportunities for feedback and personal development for carers.

WILL CHILDREN BE LABELLED "CRIMINALS" IF PANELS ARE GIVEN GREEN LIGHT?

C Jerrom

Community Care, Oct 31st-Nov 6th 2002, p.20-21

Government is sponsoring the drawing up of an information sharing protocol to help identify children as young as eight as potential criminals. Once identified as at risk, children could be referred to various services for support. One of these might be new multi-agency youth inclusion and support panels. Critics fear that targeting children as young as eight could lead to the age of criminal responsibility being lowered, children being "labelled" from a young age and families being discouraged from co-operating with agencies that offer help.

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